The law relating to divorce and property settlements now covers de facto relationships and demands the parties undertake dispute resolution before filing for divorce. The only ground for divorce is irretrievable marriage breakdown; certain conditions, for instance around separation, must be met.

Contributor

Noah Eidelson

Barrister

Appeals

Last updated

1 July 2021

Types of appeals

The following appeals are possible:

  1. Appeals to the full court of the Family Court: section 94 provides a system of appeals from the exercise of original jurisdiction in either the Family Court or the state Supreme Court.
  2. Appeals to the High Court are only available by special leave of the High Court, or upon a certificate of the full court of the Family Court that an important question of law or of public interest is involved.
  3. Appeals from the state Magistrates’ Court: a person aggrieved by a decree of a state Magistrates’ Court may, within the time that is prescribed, appeal to the Family Court or to the Supreme Court of the state or territory. Appeals from the state Magistrates’ Court to a Family Court are by way of a rehearing.
  4. An appeal to the Family Court on a point of law is possible as of right from a final decision of the Federal Circuit Court.

No appeal against a decree of dissolution of marriage can be made after the decree has become absolute (s 93 FL Act).

Procedure

  1. Appeals from a single judge of the Family Court to the full court of the Family Court: notices of appeal must be filed within one month of the decree appealed against.
  2. Appeals from the Magistrates’ Court: a notice of appeal must be filed within one month of the decree appealed against.

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